On Friday, July 26, North Creek High School graduate, Michael Albrecht was formally recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholar during a private ceremony at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Seattle.
Linda Pauly, a representative from the Department of Education presented Albrecht with a medallion and letters of commendation from Eileen Weiser, chair of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. Both letters acknowledged Albrecht’s positive attitude despite his challenge of battling a recurrence of a rare form of cancer.
“Your achievement is an example of extreme perseverance, and you should be proud of the obstacles that you’ve overcome to achieve this prestigious feat,” stated Inslee’s letter. It went on to state “Success like this does not come easy, as it is the culmination of years of hard work, passionate commitment and sheer grit. You are an inspiration to us all!”
North Creek AP Statistics Teacher Tanya Seeley, who Albrecht nominated as a Distinguished Teacher through the Department of Education was also in attendance. She said, “As teachers we want to make connections with all students, we want to be there for all students. But every once in awhile you have a student who gives you more than you give them and that’s Michael. He is such a great student and such a great kid.” She went on to say “he cares more about the learning than the grade, which as a teacher is what you want.”
Albrecht had Seeley for three years and she taught both of Albrecht’s sisters for a year. When in ninth grade, Albrecht set a goal for himself to not fall behind in class, as this was when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He took five classes when going through treatment and took more right after treatment. Even with his challenges, he achieved a 4.0 GPA. Seeley taught Albrecht again for Geometry and graciously volunteered her time to tutor him at his home. She was able to clarify concepts that were difficult, especially when he had to teach himself with his own book. Because of this dedication and commitment to help him overcome challenges, Albrecht says he is glad the Dept. of Education selected Seeley as a Distinguished Teacher.
Northshore’s Deputy Superintendent Duggan Harman read a statement to Albrecht and his family from Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. which said, “While Michael’s academic prowess distinguishes him from so many in our state and country, it is who he is as a young man of integrity that I’m most proud of. Michael’s dedication, his work ethic, positive and optimistic outlook in the face of serious challenges inspire me and so many in our district - both young and old. We are a better district for you, because of you and your contributions. We wish you all the best.”
Each year up to 161 students are named Presidential Scholars, which recognizes the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. It also recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts, as well as those who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Pauly shared a message from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about this years group of U.S. Presidential Scholars which said, “Their hard work and commitment to excellence no matter what challenge they are tackling will serve them well throughout their lifelong learning journeys. I have no doubt that many of tomorrow’s leaders are among the years class of scholars.”
View the full list of 2019 Scholars for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.